The Carolina Hurricanes were off to a great start by all accounts, sporting a 12-8-1 record; good for 3rd in the eastern conference.
But then tragedy struck the Canes when star goaltender and Stanley Cup champ Cam Ward went down with an injury in Sunday’s night win against southeast division rival Florida.
The team announced on Monday, March 4 that Ward will miss six-to-eight weeks with a sprained knee ligament.
While backup G Dan Ellis is a serviceable backup, sporting a 3-2-1 record to go along with a 2.53 goals-against average, one wonders if he can keep the team afloat with Ward out.
Ellis’ numbers are good but not great.
And here’s the thing, the Canes are obviously trying to make a run at it this year. They traded for C Jordan Staal and signed enigmatic, yet talented winger Alex Semin to a one-year $7 million contract.
That’s where Sens general manager Brian Murray comes in.
You can bet he’ll be lurking in the weeds if the Canes falter.
Ottawa clearly is having some diffculty scoring goals with Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson out.
They need help up front but are flush in net with the pending return of G Craig Anderson.
And with the stellar play of youngster Robyn Lehner so far- .951 save percentage thourgh 2 games- 26 year-old Ben Bishop is suddenly a tradeable commodity.
According to Capgeek.com, Bishop carries a pulty $650,000 cap hit this year whereafter he will become a restricted free agent.
The Hurricanes have plenty of cap space, over $12 million for 2013, so money’s not an issue when it comes to making a trade.
But with the recent season-ending injury to fellow division rival goalie Jose Theodore, the demand for tenders in the southeast just went up.
One can only assume this is just the kind of scenario Sens GM Murray was hoping for.